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Fri, 13 Feb 2009, 04:48 PM

Ozark International Raceway Returns to The IHRA Family of Member Tracks
Courtesy of IHRA Communications


Ozark International Raceway recently gained a group of new owners. The Chance Family - Neal, Mitch, and Marty - have announced the purchase of the local landmark from current owner Wes Phifer. The Track will be renamed Ozark Raceway Park under the new ownership.

"We are very excited to have Ozark return to IHRA sanction and the Renegade Division, especially with the plans for track improvements the family has laid out," said IHRA Division Director Frank Kohutek. "We will be looking forward to opening up the variety of benefits that IHRA offers, especially the Summit Super Series, to the loyal racers of Ozark Raceway."

Located in Rogersville, Missouri, roughly 15 minutes from Springfield, and 34 miles from Branson, Ozark Raceway Park is an eighth-mile drag strip located on 156 acres of beautiful Ozark countryside. The track has a busy schedule with events running form March to October, including the famous annual Street Machine Nationals that draws thousands of racers and spectators to the area.

Neal and Marty, who both live in the Wichita, Kansas area, and Mitch, who is from Springfield, are all excited about the possibilities the track has and are committed to opening on schedule this year. They are all anxious to start making improvements to the track as soon as possible.

We are trying to have the track surface ground before we open this year. It all depends on whether we can take possession in time and can get the project completed before the track opens in March," said Marty Chance.

Racers will quickly recognize Neal, Mitch, and Marty, as they have all competed regularly at ORP in the past. Neal races a Procharged '55 Chevy in True Ten Five and Marty won the True Ten Five class at the 2007 Street Machine Nationals in his Procharged Mustang. Mitch has lived in the Springfield area for 12 years and is co-owner of a '55 Chevy Pro Mod that is driven at ORP by co-owner Keith Goolsby.

Marty is also a familiar face in the Racing Industry as he owns and operates Neal Chance Racing Converters (, a world leader in racing converter technology.

Neal Chance, who began his racing career in 1955, is a big fan of the track and the Ozark area and even owns a second home in Cape Fair, Missouri.

"The first time I was at the track was in the 70s when the AHRA had a national event there. I had raced all over the Midwest and it was the nicest track I had ever been to; the setting was like a postcard and I have always loved the track since the first time I raced there. When we saw the opportunity to buy it, we acted on it. Our intentions are to not take anything away from the track but to make it even better."

Mitch Chance, co-owner of Rad Industries Inc. a Nixa, Missouri-based business also grew up around drag racing with his father Neal.

"Owning a drag strip has been a lifelong dream of mine. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with people I have something in common with, and that's all the racers, everyone from Junior Dragster racers, bracket racers to Pro Mods," he said. "Congratulations to Wes and the success he has had with the track. We want to take what he has done and build on it," Mitch said.

"We are committed to reinvesting the revenue back into the track each year until we have transformed the Ozark track we love into a facility we all can be very proud of," Marty said. "Through the years my brother and I have ran our own businesses, this will also be a great opportunity to work hand and hand again, just like did when we were kids working in our dad's transmission shop," Marty said.

The track will retain its membership in IHRA and CDRA, an area bracket racing association. The normal schedule of bracket racing and test & tune will not be changed.

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